One reason landscape photography is so challenging is that outdoor scenes tend to be very complicated. Not only is there often a wide range of tones, but composition can be difficult when there are several important objects from foreground to background.
Once way to simplify a busy landscape scene and create more compelling images is to compose using a method one pro calls “proportion and depth.” As you’ll see, this technique adds cohesiveness to a photo and helps guide a viewer’s eye through the scene.
Toma Bonciu is a Romanian travel and landscape photographer, as well an instructor who is very popular among Shutterbug readers. In this episode he reveals a simple approach to composition that’s responsible for many of his most striking landscape images.
Bonciu’s first demonstration image is a beautiful shot with mountains in the background, a nice sky, an intriguing tree-lined structure in the middle ground, and a strong object to anchor the foreground. There’s also enchanting soft light entering the frame from the right.
Like most strong compositions, this one didn’t happen by accident, as Bonciu thoughtfully framed the scene using the principles of proportion and depth to tie all the elements together. He also explains how he exposed the image and the camera settings he used.
Bonciu explains that, “I always try to keep things as simple as possible,” and he walks you through his technique for doing that, while making several beautiful photos in the mountains of Romania. You’ll see how he takes advantage of small villages, solitary cottages, and other interesting buildings nestled among the hills.
Be sure to visit Bonciu’s YouTube channel after watching this video, where you’ll find much more landscape photography advice.
And don’t miss the tutorial we posted last week from another accomplished pro, with five tips for better outdoor portraits on bright sunny days.